Saturday, 25 June 2011

The drip drip drip of a slow news week (News - 25/06/11)

To be perfectly honest it's not been a great week for news, only a handful of stories none of which guarantee my support when the film is finally made - in fact none of them are even close to making it into pre-production let alone a movie getting into cinemas. I guess only time will tell.

Untitled Howard Hughes biopic

Over several days this week we heard a slow feed of stories about Warren Beatty's next project - on Monday we learnt he was due to star and helm a movie, on Tuesday it became a comedy and so on. It seems the Dick Tracy 2 comments he made a couple of weeks ago were a cover for a biopic of the barking billionaire whose well-documented germ-phobia kept him isolated and paranoid for most of his later years.

This film will oddly take on that part of his life, especially an unlikely romantic relationship with a younger woman, and certainly won't be a thematic sequel to Martin Scorsese's The Aviator.

Howard Hughes in saner times.

Talks have already begun with a broad collection of Beatty's Hollywood mates including Annette Bening, Rooney Mara, Alec Baldwin, Jack Nicholson and Andrew Garfield which certainly sounds like a cracking cast. Although you can assume there haven't been talks with Christopher Nolan who publicly expressed a desire to make another Hughes movie last year.

Read on for Israeli spies, Formula 1 heroes, competing agents and big "C" conservatism, as well as the latest casting calls and an update on forthcoming UK releases.

Gabriel Allon

If Bond and Bourne have too much inconvenient imperialist baggage then maybe this latest spy franchise will have the ambiguity you need to keep an interest. Allom is the brainchild of Daniel Silva and has so far appeared in 10 books so the possibilities for sequels are pretty extensive. He's in his 40's, therefore older than you'd expect from the genre, and splits his time between fine art restoration and catching terrorists. The stories, including the first book The Kill Artist (right), are commended for their balanced view of the Isreal-Palestine situation as well as kick-ass action scenarios.


I've made no secret of my Formula 1 fandom so it's always a pleasure to see a motor racing themed movie in the works, even if the results really succeed in encapsulating the excitement of the real thing. This Peter Morgan scripted effort will chart the 1976 championship battle between Niki Lauda and James Hunt, a titanic battle which saw the lead seesaw between the two of them as well as some shocking crashes that led to Lauda losing an ear! Literally on the edge of my seat about this.

Spy vs. Spy

I'm guessing the spy vs. spy comic strip (above) is much more popular in the States than it is over here - I personally had never heard about it - but the tit for tat competition between the two central agents as they try to prove who's the premier in their field could well make a fun children's comedy in the vein of Johnny English. What do you think?

Untitled Todd Haynes project

After the brief sojourn in television with the Kate Winslet starring "Mildred Peirce" Tadd Haynes is looking to return to mainstream cinema (or as mainstream as he ever gets) working from a script by Meek's Cutoff script writer Jon Raymond. The details available are extremely sketchy at the moment, all we know - from an interview with Time Out - is that it will look at the contemporary conservative politics in America, whether that means an expose on the Tea party remains to be seen.

Casting News

The forthcoming cinematic outing for The Lone Ranger has picked up a villain in the guise of Railroad baron Tom Wilkinson. There's also been some movement on Silver Lining's Playbook, with Robert De Niro proving he's still interested in working with director David O. Russell, the same cannot be said for Anjelina Jolie who appears to disappeared from the project with a long-list of stars queuing up to play Mark Wahlberg unforgiving ex, including Jennifer Lawrence - although I suspect that's for completely different role.

Release Schedules

I've changed the website I get my release schedules from, finally getting tired of the patchy work at Pearl and Dean and have moved onto, it's slightly less user friendly but it's exhaustive in terms of content. As a result there are loads of new release dates to announce, although surprisingly no dates have changed over the last month.

Restless - Gus van Sant's latest comes across as a return to the elegiac masterpieces that pepper his career although reviews from Cannes suggest it's nowhere near the quality of his best hits. Fall for a suicidal teen on 21 October 2011.

Ides of March - We heard this week that George Clooney's political potboiler will be opening the Venice festival, just in time to make it's UK debut. Secure support at the primaries on 28 October 2011.

Happy Feet 2 - It's perfectly possible that I'll be seeing two animated releases this year, given how surprised I was at the quality of Rango and being a supporter of the original penguin cartoon this could be my second. Tap dance across the Antarctic on 02 December 2011.

Dangerous Method - The first trailer for David Cronenberg's psychoanalysis biopic promises plenty of inappropriate desire if little historical accuracy. Succumb to your desires on 20 February 2012.

Jack the Giant Killer - Next summer is beginning to fill up with some very interesting projects, including this fairytale adventure from the director of X-Men. Although the final tone of the project will be very tricky to balance. Find a goose with golden eggs on 15 June 2012.

Bond 23 - Some of the forthcoming movies on filmdates are still in pre-production (or even earlier in the process) which does make the release date seem less likely to be achieved. This is notable for Daniel Craig's next outing as James Bond which has already seen plenty of delays due to financing issues within MGM. Take your martini shaken, not stirred, on 26 October 2012.

Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II - the final installment in the massively popular teenage vampire series is set to come out late next year, don't expect any studio to be brave enough to open anything big against it. Find your true love on 16 November 2012.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Photos of Martin Freeman and Ian McKellen as Bilbo and Gandalf has found themselves onto the web this week and we can probably look forward to seeing a steady drip drip of publicity for the Lord of the Rings prequel for the next 18 months. Go there, but not yet back again, on 14 December 2012.

The Life of Pi - Competing against Jackson's epic will the altogether smaller option of a small boy in a boat with a tiger, a hyena, an orang-utan and a zebra, balancing survivalist and existential themes Yann Martel's novel has received exceptional praise which will hopefully translate to the movie. Find yourself lost at sea on 14 December 2012.

Oz: The Great and Powerful - A prequel (not that we can really invoke the comparison) to the magical Judy Garland starer which aims to be the biggest of the latest round of L. Frank Baum releases in which we'll see James Franco's Wizard and his arrival in Oz. Take charge in an alternate universe on 08 March 2013.

The Dark Tower - We've heard a lot this week about whether Ron Howard's adaptation of Stephen King's magnum opus will ever get made, he's positive it will but budget reductions are meaning massive script revisions. Even so I remain skeptical that this release date (690 days away) will be achieved. Discover the beam on 17 May 2013.


TomS said...

I am amused by Hollywood's fascination with Howard Hughes. Must be lots of material there, not already covered by The Aviator.

Glad to see Todd Haynes in the picture again, as well as Ang Lee (Life of Pi).

Nice job assembling the latest, as always, Ben!

Runs Like A Gay said...

He certainly is a perennial favourite who gets trotted out every few years. Although I imagine Beatty's version will be inspired as much by Jason Robards in Melvin and Howard as the man himself.

It'll be interesting to see what Haynes has to say about the forces of conservatism. On the other hand I am worried that the Life of Pi may not translate well to the screen.